Beneficial Single-Leg Strength Moves

In our PROnatal Fitness Performance Training Education, we discuss the importance of building single-leg strength during pregnancy to help prevent gait changes (AKA the pregnancy “waddle”) and to assist in maneuvering though life with an extra 30-40 pounds of body weight.  It’s also very important for new moms to build single-leg strength given the amount of level changes they are constantly performing — like getting up and down from the ground — often while holding a (cute and fragile) load.

However, we also discuss that it’s important to be mindful that she could have decreased stability due to the effects of the hormone relaxin (which increases throughout pregnancy and remains for the first several months postpartum).  In addition, during pregnancy she’ll be dealing with a shifted center of gravity from her growing belly.  Given these two factors, it’s important to make smart movement choices and ensure you are safely and progressively building single leg strength and stability.

Therefore, this video series will give you some tips on how to safely progress a client from bilateral lower-body movements into unilateral stabilizing strategies. The first two videos focus on developing sagittal plane strength, while the second two will emphasize frontal plane strength.

  1. Squat with Back Leg Reach: This is a nice transition move from bilateral to unilateral work to begin building single-leg stability. WATCH VIDEO.
  2. Toe Taps Front: After a client has mastered #1, she can progress onto this movement.  There are two variations: a base move, and a progression.  WATCH VIDEO.

  3. Squat with Side Leg Reach: Once your client has mastered the two moves above in the sagittal plane, then she can progress to frontal plane movements beginning with this safe Squat with Side Leg Reach. WATCH VIDEO.

  4. Toe Taps Side: Finally, once your client has mastered the Squat with Side Leg Reach, she can progress onto this move.  Notice there are two variations: a base move and a progression. WATCH VIDEO.

Keep in mind that, while these moves are specifically designed to be tolerated by hips that may be more mobile from the effects of relaxin, they will likely need to be modified — or eliminated altogether — if a client is experiencing any type of pelvic pain, like SI Joint Pain.

Interested in learning more?  Register now to earn your specialization as a Pre/Postnatal Performance Training Specialist.  Live and Online Training Options available.